Delmon’s Progeny

Delmon, also known as Dilmun, is a Semitic
culture connected to Mesopotamia that
flourished in the 2nd millennium B.C. 

Beneath the torrid coastal sun
tenacious men these waters rode.
They ferry pearls from port to port;
each City sings its special ode.

Some sing of spice, some sing of gold,
some sing of maidens’ dewy youth,
all sing of fortunes long foretold
and legends which predate the truth.

Of jowls strong, and piercing eyes
their famous sign: effective deeds
should scoundrels try their patient mien
their teeth lie scattered in the weeds.

With babes at breast, the womenfolk
await the rosy blush of light
for countless morns along the shore
sweet brides sent forth their longing sight.

Not all were loosed from Father Sea’s
chthonic grip which soul devours.
At parting’s horn no sailor’s son
can guarantee their days or hours.

Oh Delmon’s sons—you nameless lot,
you plied your trade on sandy shores
before the chosen teacher preached
before the Arab falcon soared.

When gods to man—as man to self—
the passion’s heady fugues relayed,
when psyche was a public weal
on golden temples’ roofs displayed.



Waiting for My Baby

My baby’s set to leave her class;
the door evicts the pushy mass,

all flailing limbs and sunny smiles
with sticky thumbs and silly guiles.

My eyes they dart and scan around:
the little faces, up and down

they bob like buoys in the bay
just then I spy a gentle ray.

My eyes soak in that special face,
those gestures fine and full of grace.

Her eyes assess the wall of dads
here clustered moms, there slouchy lads,

all waiting for their little one,
that moonlike face that shames the sun.

At every turn her pretty sight
it fills my soul with fresh delight.

Our visions lock, she springs ahead,
she hugs my waist, I kiss her head.

She’s got a joke or two to say;
we’re laughing as we drive away.



Wael Almahdi is a poet from the island of Bahrain. He has been a dentist for 12 years. He has also worked in English Arabic translation for 20 years. His poem “Rain” is slated to appear in the print edition of Arablit Quarterly. He can read a number of languages including Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, French, and Esperanto. 

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16 Responses

  1. Morrison Handley-Schachler

    Beautiful poetry, very evocative of an old seafaring culture. I love the lifelike description of people long gone.

  2. Paul Freeman

    I’ve visited the ‘Two Seas’ many times, Wa’el. Your poems bring back many good memories.

    Thanks for the nostalgic reads.

  3. Norma Pain

    I really enjoyed these two poems Wael, especially “Waiting for my Baby”, which is just lovely and sweet and precious. Thank you.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    The quatrains of “Delmon’s Progeny” are especially nice, and they have a sharp snap in the fourth line. This is particularly true in lines like “and legends which predate the truth,” or “their teeth lie scattered in the weeds,” or “before the Arab falcon soared.”

    It is easy for the fourth line of a quatrain to fail, either by being predictable, or limp, or lazy. The three lines quoted above have real energy in them, which comes from introducing a new thought in passing, or by giving the reader a slight shock.

    • WAEL Almahdi

      Truly appreciated Mr Salemi. You saw your work on site, geat verses! I wonder if we can correspond via email about poetry.

  5. Roy Eugene Peterson

    The second verse of “Delmon’s Progeny” is really beautifully and vividly imaginative. I could almost hear the songs and their themes. “Waiting for my baby” is a sweet, caring parental poem.

  6. Margaret Coats

    “Delmon’s Progeny” depicts a “nameless lot” in generalized but beautiful terms. The loose logic of the sentences focuses briefly on different kinds of individuals, but draws back to let them fade into mystery. The technique itself is fascinating, especially in the concluding lines, where golden temple roofs are easy to imagine, but psyche as a public weal displayed on them is puzzling. We see how little we know of this extinct people. “Waiting for My Baby” is an entirely different collage, made up of clear alternate perspectives of father and daughter. Love is apparent in both, and the conclusion where they meet is satisfying in its easy familiarity. Two fine poems!

    • Wael

      Truly appreciate your encouraging comments Margret. What I meant by public was that religion and spirituality (temples) was a social participatory phenomenon. Thanks again.


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